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Verdict on chess cheating this week

Jamshedpur, Dec. 11: The fate of Umakant Sharma, the chess player caught cheating using an electronic gadget last Tuesday during a FIDE tournament, is expected to be decided at the executive council meeting of All India Chess Federation (AICF) this Saturday.

The AICF has asked Sharma, a resident of Vidyapati Nagar in Jamshedpur, to brief it about the incident and also collect the seizure list from the organisers of the Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee All India Open Fide rating tournament in Delhi.

“Sharma contacted me and asked what to do. He claimed that he was innocent. But we would like to know every details,” said N.K. Mishra, the joint secretary of AICF.

Sources in the East Singhbhum District Chess Association (ESDCA) seemed surprised over the phenomenal rise of Sharma as a chess player.

According to ESDCA secretary R.S. Prasad, 24-year-old Sharma, employed with the railway in Chennai, has played several FIDE rating tournaments in Goa, Sangli, Madurai, Chennai, Delhi and other locations over the past one year. He has registered wins in most of these tourneys. Still his present rating is surprising,” he said.

Some of Sharma’s chess mates said he must have been using electronic device to manipulate his moves. “Even top chess players of the country were taken aback by some of his moves. We are sure that he was using unfair means to win tournaments,” they alleged.

Sharma was in “hiding” in the city after coming from Delhi on Friday. While some of his chess mates said he was very much in the city, his family members claimed he was yet to arrive from Delhi.

When The Telegraph tried to speak to Sharma by visiting his home, his younger sibling, Ravikant, said he had not yet arrived from Delhi.

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